"Protect the Books": An Interview with Tayler Smith.
Today is a very special interview, because I had the opportunity to speak with a small-business owner! Tayler Smith is the founder of Rebelscribe, where you can order beautiful booksleeves to protect your precious novels. She has a lot of great things to say and her business is amazing, so please, read on!
-First things first, tell us a bit about yourself!
Growing up in the Suffolk countryside gave me an appreciation for nature and wildlife. So in 2014 I trained to become a veterinary nurse and have been qualified for 3 years. When I’m not helping sick animals at work I love to travel and I adore visiting anywhere with rich history and buildings from yesteryears. My favourite hobbies include reading, devouring movies, sewing and skiing every winter. My Boyfriend and I live with our little cat, Logan, who our life basically revolves around. Rebel Scribe is the name of my small business where I sell book sleeves that have been inspired by my favourite series.
-What are some of your favorite books?
Harry Potter Series, Outlander Series, Six of Crows Duology (When I discovered the amazing Leigh Bardugo, I had no idea what I had been missing!)
-What is your favorite memory associated with reading?
When I was a kid my dad brought me home this little book that I'd never heard of. It was called Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I started reading it and I was really confused as to why the author didn't seem to be properly introducing any of the characters. When I realised it was the second book in the series, I read the Philosophers stone and never looked back!
-Can you tell us about your business, Rebel Scribe?
Rebel scribe merges my love of reading and bookish merchandise and wanting to start a small business of my own. It started as an outlet from the stress I rack up from my day job and then I thought this could really be something. I love getting away from my phone and screens and just zone out with some good music and make book sleeves on my sewing machine.
-Where did the idea come from? What is the meaning behind the name?
When I was trying to think of a name I wanted something in the name related to literature hence ‘Scribe’ and then rebel came along because I wanted to make individual designs for readers who love books with awesome protagonists who don’t follow the rules and create their own destinies. I wrote a list of words that I thought represented this and decided to go with Rebel and thus Rebelscribe was born.
-How are the booksleeves made?
Well actually the timely process is making the designs on my computer. I try to get inspiration from other artists but put my own spin on the designs and take quotes that I think people would love and then fit them into the size of a sleeve. I have to leave 2cm margins around the image and make sure it’s exactly the right size to then send to the printing company that I use. When the fabric arrives I have to carefully cut each piece out and then sew it all together, along with the lining on my sewing machine. Each sleeve is completely handmade by me and has my label inside the pouch of the sleeve.
-Do you have a favorite sleeve that you've made?
My favourite sleeve that I have made is my Red Rising book sleeve that says ‘I am the reaper and death is my shadow.’ This was the first design I made for my premium book sleeves and when I really knew I could set myself apart from other book sleeve makers by continuing to make my own designs.
-Do you make them custom made or do you have set patterns you work with?
I am happy to make custom designs however because of the price of the printing these do work out more expensive to only print one. I’m always happy to discuss commissions though but generally they are set designs that I will put up onto my shop.
-Are other products in the works?
I want to start making matching book marks to go with my sleeves but these are still in the design faze at the moment. So watch this space.
-What is your favorite part of running Rebel Scribe?
My favourite part about running the shop is that it is completely my own. I don’t have a boss leaning over my shoulder telling me to change anything and the creative freedom I have is very refreshing. Also just being able to be a book geek and make book sleeves for my favourite series is enough to make any bibliophile happy.
-What are your aspirations for Rebel Scribe?
My first and foremost aspiration is just to get the word out there, marketing is hard when you have no money to play with so word of mouth is always great. I would love to be able to get to a place where I could quit my day job and focus on this business full time. I have a passion for reading and want everyone to protect their books from damage with sleeves.
-You're also working on a novel! Can you tell us what it's about?
Yes I am currently working on a Norse inspired young adult fantasy book. The main character is a princess who has uncontrolled visions of the future. So as child, when she sees her fathers murder at the hands of her own uncle, she is forced to flee the kingdom. As she grows up other powers start to manifest inside her and she realises that revenge could be within her grasp. But the journey to avenge her father's death is a long and challenging one. Full of bounty hunters, monsters and magic she must navigate her way back and control her new powers in the process. This is still very much an early work in progress but i’m really excited for what I have planned so far.
-What has been the most challenging part of writing this book?
Having the time to dedicate to writing it! I have a busy life and finding the time to sit down to actually research and write it is proving difficult at the moment but every time I do find the time to write I enjoy getting lost in the kingdom of Stormlanda.
-What has been the most rewarding part?
Realising my own writing potential and finding other writers on Instagram who give support and tips that help me motivate myself.
-Any advice for people who want to start a small business or Etsy shops?
Just do it! Find something you love and try to put your own spin on it. Harness the power of social media to try and advertise and connect with people, it’s such a great tool and completely free!
Thank you so much for talking to me, Tayler! Your business sounds absolutely wonderful and I wish you the best of luck! Everyone, I implore you to check out her booksleeves, as they are gorgeous. Thanks again!
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